S16 Quantifying Bacterial Cross-contamination and Transfer: Importance in Risk Assessment

Monday, August 1, 2016: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
223-224 (America's Center - St. Louis)
Sponsored By:
Primary Contact: Maarten Nauta
Organizers: Yuhuan Chen and Maarten Nauta
Convenor: Anderson de Souza Sant'Ana
Bacterial transfer processes, including cross-contamination, can be important factors in food safety management. Contamination of products can take place by direct or indirect contact with other contaminated products, surfaces or the environment. Examples of transfer processes include contamination of food products from the processing environment; transfer from “food to surface to food” during cutting and slicing; redistribution of bacteria (e.g., during cutting and washing of vegetables), grinding and slicing of meat products; fecal contamination of produce during application of biological soil amendment or of meat during the slaughter process. The intricate nature of these processes complicates risk assessment and management, in industrial, retail and household setting. In some cases improved food hygiene may be a solution, in other cases, these transfer processes may also be an inevitable side effect of the food production and processing (e.g., defeathering of poultry or harvesting produce from the soil). Transfer studies and quantitative predictive models are essential to improve our understanding of cross-contamination and transfer and will lead to improved risk assessments and more effective food safety management. The number of studies on cross contamination is limited and predictive models for bacterial transfer are less well developed than models for bacterial growth and inactivation. An understanding of the best ways to link bacterial growth/inactivation models with bacterial transfer models is necessary to represent these distinct and often very different components in a risk assessment. In recent years, significant progress has been made in the development of these types of models, where they are supported by an increasing amount of data. This symposium aims to present the challenges and latest advances in this area, with the aim to illustrate their practical value and their integration into risk assessments.


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